Meditation is something that is often misconceived in modern day life - but the fact it has been practiced around the world for thousands of years shows us that there is a good reason behind it. Meditation can take on many forms, from sitting in one position for several hours without moving, to simply taking 10 minutes out of our daily lives to focus on our breathing. Either way, the benefits of meditation are abundant and it is something everyone can take part in, no matter who you are or what your background is.
So what is Meditation?
First and foremost meditation is a highly individual practice of training the mental state to achieve a desired effect, although to try and underpin meditation with one simple definition is impossible. The act of meditation can be traced all the way back to 1500BC, and was most notably practiced in the far east by buddhist monks as a means of achieving enlightenment. Soon meditation gradually spread to the west and is now practiced across the world using many different methods and perspectives to achieve various results.
Nowadays meditation is often used to relieve stress or gain a different perspective on life, or even to understand the ‘self’ better. Meditation in all forms often uses three key mental exercises to achieve results - Focus, Awareness and Observation. These three techniques are equally important when learning how to meditate effectively:
The act of being able to concentrate on one specific object or action. This can be something external or internal eg. breathing or a certain part of the body.
This technique involves being conscious of your surroundings without being distracted by them.
This involves being able to view things objectively without making any judgement; Techniques such as a mental body scan requires a heightened sense of observation.
By practicing these methods daily, one can gain a better insight into their own life and begin to understand and view the world in a more positive way. This can eventually lead to many other positive conclusions such as relaxation, anger management and mental clarity. Mindfulness is also a key factor of meditation and learning how to be more mindful of ourselves and our surroundings can really help us when practicing meditation and help us achieve results. Despite all this, meditation should not be viewed as a means to change, or even better yourself, but instead should be looked at as a method to change the way we view certain aspects of ourselves and our life’s, and hopefully gain a more positive outlook.
The Benefits of Daily Meditation
There are many benefits to meditating on a daily basis, and due to the individual nature of meditation, everyone can achieve different results from practicing it. Some of the most common benefits include:
- Mental Clarity
- Positive Outlook
- Increased Self Awareness
- Improved Discipline (from committing to practicing something regularly)
- Increased focus
- Becoming more attuned to our emotions
- Greater sense of empathy
- A greater sense of Mindfulness and ‘being’
So where do I start?
As with many things in life beginning something can be one of the most difficult obstacles when approaching something new. A lot of times people go into things, especially meditation, with a lot of preconceptions about what they should do or what they want to achieve, but as with a lot of things, the best way to approach meditation is with an open mind.
As mentioned before meditation is a very individual practice, and as such can be approached in many different ways. One of the best and most common ways to approach the practice is ‘Guided Meditation’.
Guided Meditation is where a teacher or expert helps us ease into the practice by helping you understand the basic principles of meditation and giving you a grounding in how to start out. This form of meditation is highly recommended because it gives us an insight into how we should be treating the practice and helps you gain focus - which is one of the key fundamentals of meditation.
Phone apps like ‘Headspace’ and ‘Calm’ take Guided Meditation one step further by allowing the user to pick and choose what they want to achieve from the practice, and can be an excellent tool to get started on the road to achieving your goals. These resources are a great way of beginning your journey into the world of meditation.
Persistence is key
As with most things it is really important to stay motivated and try and take some time out every day to practice meditation. This can be half an hour in the evening, or even as little as 5 minutes every morning, it doesn’t matter! The thing that matters most is consistency and perseverance; with this sort of self determination anything is possible. With persistence, the practice of meditation will become second nature and eventually become a vital part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth!
Let us know about your Meditation Journey!
Here at Street Panda Clothing we understand that meditation is something that benefits many people worldwide, and is something that a lot of our team here find really helpful; It keeps us positive, focused and prepared to face new challenges. It also helps us keep in touch with nature, and gives us a clear mind to formulate new ideas for our incredible clothing range!
Why not drop us a comment on facebook.com/streetpandaclothing or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about your meditation journey, and any techniques you might have that helps, we’d love to hear them!
About the Author
Ellis Hill is a Digital Media graduate with a background in Journalism, Photography and Digital marketing. Areas of interest include Football, Gaming, Music and Mindfulness.